From Chicken Soup for the Grandma's Soul


Letters are those winged messengers that can fly from east to west on embassies of love.

Jeremiah Brown Howell

Few things thrill this man more than the sight of my grandmother’s handwriting on an envelope. I always save that piece of mail for last, saving it for when I am free to pay it the attention it deserves.

I start with the many enclosures. My grandmother reads at least three newspapers and clips the articles she thinks may be of interest to family members. She prints the newspaper’s name and the date the article appeared before folding the clipping so the headline is visible on top.

Today’s batch includes a story about another adoptive parent, an announcement about a book signing and tips on defeating kidney stones. I read the clips slowly, knowing that she thought them important enough to send, and her judgment was right on the mark.

Then I finally open my grandmother’s card. She buys discounted cards for their pictures and not the printed text, which in this case congratulates me on a new job. The words that matter are the ones she writes herself.

My grandmother starts where most people merely sign their name. She completely fills that page with her neat script, moves over to the facing page, and then finishes her note as the space runs out on the back of the card.

She is thanking me for hosting a birthday party. She doesn’t simply say “Thanks,” which would still be more than I received from others. My grandmother describes every detail she appreciated, mentions the news she heard and repeats the jokes that made her laugh. She recalls past parties I’ve thrown and dwells on the highlights.

Those who say that letter writing is a lost art never received mail from my grandmother, who has once again brightened my day and lessened my load.

Stephen D. Rogers

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